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Don’t Judge Stevie Johnson’s Touchdown Dance

Stevie Johnson‘s touchdown celebration was in poor taste. But so what? Most player celebrations are in poor taste.

After scoring a touchdown against the Jets yesterday Johnson celebrated by mimicking Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the thigh and mocking Santonio Holmes‘ Jet celebration (he crashed his Jet). I’ve never been a fan of touchdown dances but these are things that if someone on our team had done them we’d have a good laugh about. But when it’s against our team we take exception.

No, I don’t take exception to Johnson’s celebration. Given the current standards for celebration it fits right in. What I take exception to is the current standard.

When I was a kid in little league my coaches always taught me sportsmanship. When something good happens for you and your team it’s okay to be happy about it but it’s not okay to flaunt it in the oppositions faces. The same lessons were echoed to me several years later when playing basketball on a local team and later still when I played intramural hockey in high school and college.

I remember one year when my hockey team won a semifinal game in double overtime. It was the highlight of my hockey ‘career’. In almost 2 complete periods of overtime hockey I stopped more shots (I was the goalie) than I had during all of regulation. When my teammate scored the game winning goal of course I jumped and shouted in celebration. But did I do a silly dance in front of the oppositions bench? Of course not. (And it’s not just because I was about to collapse from exhaustion.) I actually shook hands with every player of that team and congratulated them on a well player game.

The saying of ‘hate the game, not the player’ (or is that playa) must be applied to the Johnson celebration yesterday. Was it out of line? Sure. Bad taste? Definitely. But it’s just a symptom of the poor sportsmanship that is emblematic of professional sports today.

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I was more offended when Lebron did Stevie Johnson’s dance in the flag football game. I hate that punk. Like it or not, Johnson’s dance costed the Bills that game.

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